The city has announced that starting today (Sunday, January 10), the COVID-19 vaccination program is going out to residents at Hamilton’s long-term care and high-risk retirement homes.
Hamilton Public Health Services, in conjunction with Primary Care Physicians and Hamilton Paramedic Services, will begin a mobile clinic pilot program using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The city says the mobile clinic will begin at Idlewyld Manor located on Hamilton’s west mountain, and will expand to vaccinate all of Hamilton’s long-term care home residents and those living in high-risk retirement homes by Monday, January 18 — including homes that are currently in outbreak.
The current fixed-site vaccination clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences will continue to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week, by appointment only for eligible priority groups.
“While this is a very exciting time, we are requesting that no media attend the homes during their clinics and would like to remind the community that all non-essential visitors are not permitted at long-term care homes,” the city said.
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“It is imperative that the privacy of the residents is preserved, and that staff continue to be able to dedicate their time to resident care.”
Criteria for selecting the order of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes was based on risk of COVID-19 transmission, previous and current outbreak status, and scheduling logistics in order to complete the vaccinations as soon as possible.
The city expects that vaccines will become available for more people in the winter and spring of 2021, and that by the end of the year everyone who wants a vaccine will be offered one free of charge.
“The continued expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination program is extremely important in Hamilton right now, and I am eager to have our teams begin vaccinating some of our most vulnerable population,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health.
“I am encouraged by the amazing work that is taking place at the current clinic and now the expansion to include mobile clinics. This is about protecting those most at risk of COVID, saving lives and preserving healthcare capacity for all. We need to continue to fight against COVID-19 in our community.”
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine were approved by Health Canada in December 2020.
The city says it’s expecting more information from the province regarding the local distribution of the Moderna vaccine, which will allow more of the priority populations to be vaccinated.
On Saturday, January 9, the province announced that over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Ontario, with Health Minister Christine Elliott reporting that thousands of vaccinations are being administered every day.